Daily Update: Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

04-19 - Battles of Lexington and Concord

With no Saints to honor this Tuesday, we note instead that on this date in 1775 occurred the first Battles of the American Revolutionary War, the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts.

The battles of Lexington and Concord marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America. About 700 British Army regulars, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, had been given secret orders to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Through effective intelligence gathering, Patriot colonials had received word weeks before the expedition that their supplies might be at risk and had moved most of them to other locations. They also received details about British plans on the night before the battle and were able to rapidly notify the area militias of the enemy movement. The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back, and the regulars proceeded on to Concord, where they searched for the supplies. At the North Bridge in Concord, approximately 500 militiamen fought and defeated three companies of the King’s troops. The outnumbered regulars fell back from the minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory. More militiamen arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the regulars as they marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Smith’s expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Brigadier General Hugh Percy. The combined force, now of about 1,700 men, marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown. The accumulated militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his “Concord Hymn”, described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the “shot heard ’round the world.” Patriots’ Day is celebrated annually in honor of the battle in Massachusetts, Maine, and by the Wisconsin public schools, on the third Monday in April.

We woke up half an hour early, and I did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and while waiting on the Early Out list I did my Book Review for Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors for this Weblog via WordPress for Android, and posted my Book Review to my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. We signed the Early Out list, and when we went out on the casino floor, Richard had been assigned to a Blackjack table, but by his name was penciled in, “See Pencil”. He thus got out with no time, and I also got out with no time, even though I was sitting at my Mini Baccarat table (which was dead) for about five minutes. On our way home I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Monday, April 18th, 2016 via WordPress for Android. We got home at 4:00 am, and I went back to bed.

I woke up (again) at 9:15 am, started my laundry, ate my breakfast toast and read the morning paper, and put polish on my toenails. I then spent about an hour working on my Weblog photos (mostly for June 2016). I then finished my laundry and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts.

Richard and I left the house at 12:45 pm and ate Chinese for lunch at Peking. I traded text messages with Callie, and we settled on Richard and I going over to her mother’s house at 2:00 pm. So we headed home after lunch, and went over to Lisa’s house at 2:00 pm. We had a nice visit with Lisa, Callie, and my Kitten; no photos were taken, but my Kitten was happy playing on the floor of the TV room. We then said our good-byes; Lisa will be flying with Callie and Kitten back to Connecticut tomorrow, then flying back home in a few days; Callie, Amy, and Kitten will be back down for a visit in July. We got home again at 3:30 pm, and I got on the computer to do some advance work on today’s Daily Update.

After I watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, I headed out at 5:00 pm for Lafayette. By 6:00 pm I settled myself for a bit in a comfy chair at Barnes and Noble. Just before 7:00 pm I traded some text messages with Julie; she will not be able to come to New Orleans on Wednesday night, but should be able to do so on Thursday (which was the original plan, anyway).  At 7:00 pm I attended the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting (without our moderator, who had let us know earlier in the day via text message that she would not be able to make it, due to continuing health problems with her daughter, and without my optometrist) to discuss Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. I then returned the book to the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch, and got home at 9:15 pm, which brings me to now, finishing up my weblog.

We have no Saints to honor tomorrow, so we will note that tomorrow is 4-20 (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). On a much more serious note, tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which killed 11 workers (one of them from my town) and caused a major environmental disaster. And tomorrow is the birthday of my Internet friend Sonya in Colorado. Richard will be going up to Mamou tomorrow morning for a 9:30 am dental appointment. When I get up I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and pack a bag. Richard will be home before I leave at 12:00 pm or thereabouts in my car for New Orleans. I will check in at the Bourbon Orleans on Orleans Street in the Quarter sometime after 3:00 pm (that’s check-in time), and spend the night (if nothing else, I will be catching up on my reading and producing my Daily Update via WordPress for Android), and, with any luck, Julie will come to the City on Thursday morning (with her husband bringing her, at last word), so I don’t know how much time (if any) we will have to check on how each other of us have been doing. But I will still do some book shopping, and get back home on Thursday afternoon so that I can do my Daily Update, go to bed, and work on Friday morning. Tomorrow evening our #5 LSU Tigers will play a single home Baseball game with Southeastern Louisiana; I will either post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update, or post it in Friday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Elisabeth Sladen, English actress. Born as Elisabeth Heath-Sladen in Liverpool, Lancashire, she was an only child, and developed an interest in performing at an early age, beginning dance lessons when she was five and dancing in one production with the Royal Ballet. In 1964 she made her first film appearance in Ferry Cross the Mersey as an uncredited extra. Sladen then joined the Hillbark Players for their open-air production of Much Ado About Nothing, playing Hero. After two years at drama school she began work at the Liverpool Playhouse repertory company as an assistant stage manager. Her first stage appearance at the Playhouse was as a maid in Twelfth Night. A few months later she played a corpse in The Physicists; however, she was scolded for giggling on stage due to her future husband Brian Miller whispering the words “Respiration nil, Aston Villa two” in her ear while he was playing a doctor. Sladen was such a good assistant stage manager that she did not get many acting roles, a problem that was solved when she accidentally made a mistake on one occasion. Sladen eventually moved into weekly repertory work, travelling to various locations in England. Sladen and Miller, now married, moved to Manchester, spending three years there. She appeared in numerous roles, most notably as Desdemona in Othello, her first appearance as a leading lady. She also got the occasional part on Leeds Radio and Granada Television, eventually appearing as a barmaid in 1970 in six episodes of the long-running soap opera Coronation Street. In 1971 Sladen was in a two part episode of the drama television series Z-Cars; these particular episodes are listed as missing episodes by the BBC’s archive library. In 1972 she appeared in a play that eventually moved to London, and Sladen and Miller moved there as well. Her first television role in London was as a terrorist in an episode of Doomwatch, followed by guest roles in Z-Cars (again), Public Eye, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, and Special Branch. In 1973 she arrived on the set of Doctor Who, replacing Katy Manning, who had played Assistant Jo Grant to the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. Sladen’s character of Sarah Jane Smith became quite popular; she stayed on Doctor Who for three-and-a-half seasons, alongside Pertwee as the Third Doctor and Tom Baker as the Fourth. She returned to the character of Sarah Jane Smith on several occasions. After Doctor Who she returned to Liverpool with her husband and performed in a series of plays, spent two years as a presenter for the children’s programme Stepping Stones, a lead role with Miller playing her husband in the ITV drama Send In the Girls, and a small part in the movie Silver Dream Racer as a bank secretary in 1980, only her second film appearance. In 1981 former Doctor Who producer Barry Letts cast her as the female lead in the BBC Classics production of Gulliver in Lilliput. The character of Lady Flimnap was written for Sladen, and she said it was her favourite role. Two years later Sladen appeared again as Sarah Jane Smith in the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors. After the birth of her daughter in 1985 she went into semi-retirement to raise her family. In 1991 she starred as Alexa opposite Colin Baker in The Stranger audio adventure “The Last Mission” for BBV Audio. She was again Sarah Jane Smith in the 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time and in the 1995 independently produced video Downtime alongside former co-star Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield. This was her last on-screen appearance as Sarah Jane Smith for some time. She also played the character in audio plays; BBC Radio produced The Paradise of Death in 1993 and The Ghosts of N-Space in 1996, together with Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney. Following the successful revival of Doctor Who in 2005, Sladen guest starred as Sarah Jane in “School Reunion”, an episode of the 2006 series, along with David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Following her successful appearance in the series Sladen later starred in The Sarah Jane Adventures, a Doctor Who spin-off focusing on Sarah Jane Smith, produced by BBC Wales for CBBC and created by Russell T. Davies. A 60-minute special aired on New Year’s Day 2007, with a 10-episode series commencing broadcast in September 2007, and a second 12-episode series was broadcast in late 2008. The programme won a Royal Television Society 2010 award for Best Children’s Drama. Sladen also read original audio stories on CD for The Sarah Jane Adventures which were released in November 2007: “The Glittering Storm” and “The Thirteenth Stone”. This was the first time that BBC Audiobooks had commissioned new content for exclusive release on audio. Further pairs of audio stories, all read by her, were released every year until 2010. Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography was released posthumously in November 2011 (died 2011): “Sometimes good television doesn’t depend on money, it depends on imagination and good people directing, casting and doing the job with talented people. Then you’re forgiven a great deal, I think, if sometimes something doesn’t look quite on the money.”

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